Former Uttar Pradesh CM Kalyan Singh dies at 89, PM says ‘saddened beyond words’

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Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and former governor of Rajasthan Kalyan Singh passed away on Saturday night in New Delhi. He was 89 years old and died due to sepsis and multi-organ failure.

Uttar Pradesh has announced three-day mourning and a holiday on Monday, when the last rites will take place.

The senior BJP leader had been undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit of the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) in the National Capital since 4 July.

Since then, several union ministers have visited Singh, including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also enquired about Singh’s health. Modi also spoke to Chief Minister Adityanath and asked him to ensure that Kalyan Singh is given the best possible treatment.

Born on 5 January, 1932, Singh is a former member of the BJP, leader who served two terms as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and two terms as a Member of Parliament.

He was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh twice, in June 1991 to December 1992 and again in September 1997 to November 1999.

He was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh during the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992. As the Babri mosque was razed on 6 December, 1992, his government was dismissed and state was placed under the President’s rule.  Singh enjoyed protection from trial while he held a constitutional post as governor.

After a controversial first stint as the chief minister, Singh became the chief minister once again in 1997 according to a power-sharing agreement between the BJP and the BSP.

After completing his five-year term as governor, the 87-year-old Singh rejoined the BJP at the party office in Lucknow in September 2019.

Expressing deep pain at the death of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that coming generations will remain forever grateful to him for his contributions towards India’s “cultural regeneration”. Modi said he was saddened beyond words at his demise.

Singh was firmly rooted in Indian values and took pride in its centuries-old traditions, he said and lauded him as a “statesman, veteran administrator, grassroots level leader and great human”.

Condoling his death, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh called him a “stalwart of Indian politics, who had he left an indelible mark on the country and society with his personality and creativity.”

Union minister Nitin Gadkari in a tweet in Hindi said, “Extremely saddened to hear the news of the passing away of our senior leader respected Kalyan Singh ji. Kalyan Singh ji has been the most important contribution in making Jan Sangh and BJP in Uttar Pradesh.”

Expressing grief, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said Kalyan Singh was synonymous with transparency and public service and his demise is an irreparable loss for the entire nation.

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